University of Washington
paleontologist Peter Ward is one of the world's leading experts on the
mass extinction events that delineate the geologic record. His
thesis that all the mass extinctions (save the one that divides the
Cretaceous and Tertiary periods and killed off the dinosaurs) were
brought on by rapid climate change much like what we ourselves have
initiated has become established science in the last few years.
His 2007 book: Under a Green Sky
is about how he unearthed the evidence that changed the scientific
paradigm ending the debate on what caused the myriad mass extinctions
of eons past and gives powerful insight into our likely fate if we are
unable to force necessary changes in time.
The writer of 15 books on popular science, Professor Ward does not
confine himself to the ivory tower. Neither does he apparently
feel comfortable containing himself in one scientific field. He
is also a professor of biology and of earth and space sciences and
serves as an adjunct professor of zoology and astronomy. His
career has included teaching posts and professional connections with
Ohio State University, the NASA Astrobiology Institute, the University
of Calgary, McMaster University, and the California Institute of
Technology. He was elected as a Fellow of the California Academy
of Sciences in 1984.
Dr. Ward's broad scientific background and his work in understanding
the mechanisms by which climate change destabilized the biosphere
leading to mass extinctions in the past puts him on the cutting edge of
what we know about global warming.
In this program, Professor Ward turns our attention to sea-level rise
and examines the consequences of varying sea-level rises on
civilization. He brings this home as he examines some of the
effects it will have here in Seattle. His latest book is The Flooded Earth: Our Future in a World
Without Ice Caps.
Thanks to the Foundation For the Future, the Elliott Bay Book Company
and Town Hall Seattle